dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

temple times

This morning we sang in the temple and walked in the desert. We're having a good time on our retreat. Our sheet music is in a pink binder that I like. 

You know my theme of the year is Your silence will not protect you. Last year was Never in a hurry. I think I like last year's better. 

I finished reading Twelve by Twelve. I loved the first half or so, disliked the rest but kept reading, hoping for some glimmer of what I had liked in the beginning. Also just to finish it. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

support our troops--bring them home


life on Mars

Gmorning. Ming and I are retreating for a day and a half. Ming is getting gas. Then we'll head to the temple. 

I should've brought more books. But there are books at the guesthouse. 

By the way, there's water on Mars. Yesterday we watched the video for David Bowie's "Life on Mars" to celebrate. Ming showed me a picture of something that looks like an octopus on Mars. Did you see that?  I wonder if it's a prank. But it made me feel excited and scared at the same time. 

Monday, September 28, 2015


Today we've been busy.  We were having a conference call this afternoon when there was a knock at the door.  It was our friend J and his daughter.  Their trailer had a problem.  The trailer hub and drum assembly.  They forgot the grease so they'll stop for grease on their way out of town.

Anyway, it was a surprise to see these friends.  It was nice.  Ming took them to this RV place to get the parts.  I stayed here and typed up notes on the conference call.

We don't have good foods to feed these particular friends.  They like meat.  J likes rabbit.  Ming and I went home-vegan (again, for me) and we don't have things J and his daughter would like to eat.  That's an argument against our diet.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

big cook

I should be chopping potatoes right now.  We got a donation of tons of lettuce heads yesterday, so Ming made a huge salad.  The beans are simmering--the rice is too.  The potatoes are what's left.  And the bell pepper for the potatoes.

I'm upset by a friend or former friend's bad behavior.  It's been bothering me for days, and I don't know what to do.  I told Ming yesterday that the only remedy for anger is exercise.

I reviewed a book I'd been needing to review.  I have to find, read, and review a zine as well.  I'm tired from getting up at 5:15.  I'm cranky from unresolvable anger.  I'm worried about the beans sticking to the bottom on the pot where there's an abrasion.  They always stick there and burn a little.  Otherwise the pot is great.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

new shirt


Friday, September 25, 2015

lentil soup

We are home safe from travels.  I made lentil soup for lunch.  It's good though I couldn't find the bay leaves, though I used donated canned potatoes and carrots.  I thought the canned stuff might be yuckie but it's fine.

Our friend King R came over and chopped veggies for Food Not Bombs.  We talked.  He drank coffee.  It was good, and he has some fresh ideas for NDE.

Tonight there's a free concert we might go to.  But we need to go to the post office, grocery shop, rest from yesterday's long drive.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I have a library card

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

it's happening in Soledad

We stopped for frozen yogurt in Soledad. The strawberry tasted bad--I sampled it--but the chocolate was good. 

This morning I sat at Berkeley Bowl while Ming had breakfast with his kid at Sconehenge.

Ming helped his mom clean her apartment yesterday while I sat at the San Leandro library emailing people. 

In Berkeley yesterday we copied some zines I was running out of.

Workers are cutting down eucalyptus trees by the freeway and we wonder why. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I have a weakness for Paper Source. But when we went there this morning it was closed for renovation. 

So we were headed to the bookstore, but it was closed too. The scrapbooking store same thing. Weird. 

Now we're at the marina, which is also closed. But we can sit here looking at the bay water. 

Hotel breakfast this morning was good but the news was not. 

Today we'll see Ming's mom. Ming will help her clean her apartment then we'll go to frozen yogurt together is the plan. 

Ming says hello. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

if you're ever in a jam here I am

We're in a traffic jam somewhere near San Jose having finished our fudge. There are roadside mattesses. A freeway is coming up we hope lotsa people exit onto. 

This morning at the pier near Diablo we watched a fisherman catch mackerel after mackerel. There were little fish below and maybe the mackerel were eating those. 

We also saw tourists leaned over the edge of the pier to look at sealions. They were brave. 

I bought a postcard at the bamboo store that says Kale--it's what's for dinner. It made a smile. 

We spent too much time in and around San Luis and are now having to rush to Davis to see Ming's kid. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

pinning the tail nowhere near the donkey


big bang theory

Mom made candy goodie bags for the kids with dollar store candy though only one kid is coming to the pin the tail on the donkey party.  Mom got up early and baked the cake before it got hot.  We're experimenting--brownies from a mix for the cake, two boxes.

The dog is wild.  The dog barks like crazy.  He is not getting used to me or Ming.  I think he may not be long for this house.  Everyone's getting fed up.  He has a lot of energy.  He needs to be a ranch dog.  But do ranches need more dogs?

"Hello, ranch.  Do you need a problem dog?"

Mom also got a chocolate orange from the dollar store which Dad banged on the table to break.  Mom said it was nostalgia factor because she got them for us when we were kids.  I don't remember.  But she thinks chocolate and orange don't go together.  Ming thinks the combination is wrong wrong wrong.

Google knows it's my birthday and has a special doodle for me.  It's cute.  I've been drawing cartoon birds and playing cards with Mom.  We played a game she won.  It was hard for me to concentrate because a sit com I don't like was playing.  But it has some good science jokes.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

see canyon

Friday, September 18, 2015


Matthew 6:1

This morning we went to Goleta Beach and walked the pier. We sat on a bench that had a Bible verse wheatpasted in front of it. We saw a school of small fish. 

Then we went to Montecito to the Vedanta temple there. We shopped the bookstore where I bought two small statues, Durga and Krishna. They will keep me good company at my desk. 

Now we're at Pepe's in Goleta waiting for my bestie in the lobby. We've had good times here before. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

veggie bake pasty

no beach

I think the beach we want to go to is closed because of tsunami warning. Dad is talking to me about all manner of family topics. The dog, my brother, Disneyland. His back, salt for the water softener.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

you're here

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the stranger

This morning someone unknown was in our courtyard.  I asked him what was going on.  He was an oldtime NDE person who is now homeless and had just walked miles from the hospital he was discharged from.  Our friend J came over and helped him.  But then the hospital wouldn't readmit him, and he walked back here.  By then I was sleeping.

Too much excitement.  In the morning I made him breakfast and brought him coffee.  In the afternoon I don't know what happened.

We had community dinner tonight.  I hugged people goodbye because we're going on a trip.  Our friend B made pesto.  It was the best pesto I had ever tasted, so fresh and real.

I'm so tired.  I ate the last of the ice cream--there was just a little at the bottom of the carton.  I need to head back to bed because we leave tomorrow morning at 4:30.

Monday, September 14, 2015

live by the sword, die by the sword

1.  This morning we woke up early and went out to the goddess temple.  We had tea with our friend C and pumpkin-flavored mini cupcakes.  It was good to talk with her, but I wasn't expecting to see her.  She and Ming had miscommunication on the phone.  

Then we sang in the temple.  It felt good.  

Then we walked on a dirt road, careful of rattlesnakes.  It was warm but not hot with a pleasant wind.

Then we were going to hang out on the grounds, reading and writing, but there was construction going on and it was too loud.  

2.  So we left and went to Corn Creek, back toward Las Vegas, to the Desert Wildlife Refuge.  It's the largest US wildlife refuge excluding Alaska's.  The visitor's center was closed, but we walked on a trail.  We got lost and walked longer than we intended.  We liked the spring and the signage and the jimson weed.

"Sacred Thorn Apple," I said to Ming.  "Datura."  We stared at it.

3.  Someone at the prepper meeting mentioned Jesus telling his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords.  He was citing it as evidence that Jesus wants us to have guns.  I was amazed / flabbergasted.  So I looked it up today, and Jesus doesn't say that at all.  It's clear from what comes after the verse that he's not telling us to arm ourselves, and I felt stupid some random ignorant prepper could misuse Jesus' words in such an ugly way.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

big cook, Burning Man, prepper dreams, lemons

This morning we woke up early to start the beans.  It's a big cook.  We're doing it twice a month now instead of once a month.  Our friend King R came over to chop veggies on Friday.  We'll feed about 30 people beans, rice, and potatoes--it's for Food Not Bombs.  I don't think I'll even go, today--JR will go in my stead, with Ming.

Yesterday I got good mail including a letter my friend K wrote me while she was at Burning Man.  I felt special.

I dreamt fitfully about prepping the first half of the night, trying to figure out who would shoot us and who wouldn't.  In the morning I dreamt Ming gave me a lot of lemons and I was so happy.

I've been feeling negative and low energy and bad.  But last night I made a call I was very nervous about to try to help a friend.  The person I called was receptive to my request, and I'm glad.  Good might come of it.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

the rejects and the rock

my first and possibly last prepper meeting

Long ago I read a book by Sharon Astyk about making our homes good places for us, gardening, canning, caring for one another.  It was kind of a prepper book, but with no guns.

We used to have a neighbor D who was into prepping and had a gun, but he said we were his family and cared for us.  Then his girlfriend died and he moved away.  That was in Sacramento.

Anyway, we went to a prepper meeting this morning, and it was all white people except us.  Two guys said they were against Muslims.  They talked about guns a lot.  They talked about food a little bit, and amateur radio, and fire starting.

Overall I didn't want to be there, and as some peace loving interfaith vegetarian organizers, we simply did not belong.

Friday, September 11, 2015


We went to the university farmers market.  It was 97 degrees outside.  I thought about getting a pumpkin for donation, grown at a school garden.  I thought about getting a rainbow lanyard from the Rastafarians.  I counseled someone about what to do with yellow squash.  I don't know if she thought I worked there.  I got some hugs.  And then it was time to go.

So Ming and JR went to the ATM with JR's friend C who was being abrasive in the car, and I was hoping C didn't always act like that.  "He's a kid," JR told me later.

"Just because he's a kid doesn't mean he's allowed to be mean," I said.

They dropped me off at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and I said goodbye.  But then I went to the Indian food restaurant next door instead.

It seemed new.  I ordered my usual--malai kofta.  It was pretty good but they served it strangely.  I should have taken a picture for you.  The rice was in a styrofoam to go container, and the malai kofta was in a round metal to go container.  You know, sort of like a pie plate with crenelations.  Not the smooth kind--the bumpy kind.

I wrote in my journal and wrote a letter to my friend M who lives in North Carolina.  The guys were done at the ATM way faster than I thought they would be.  They were unimpressed.  Then we went to Ethiopian food, and I didn't eat because I was full from the Indian food.

In the evening Ming and G went to a peace vigil that never was.  It was supposed to start at 6 at the federal building, but no one was there, so they gave up.  Only one other person showed up.  Maybe it was moved or canceled and no one announced it.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


I cleaned my desk in anticipation of the influx of people who will begin arriving on Monday.  Cleaning my desk = putting everything into a box and throwing a few things away.

This morning I served but felt jarred by all the people, so we skipped dishes.  Then we peace vigiled, and Ming and I talked about why we vigil.  He said to support our friends.  I said to stand for something, and it's a spiritual practice of making myself vulnerable to hundreds of people while putting forth a peaceful message.  But what if you're not sure you believe your own sign?  I held PEACE is POSSIBLE today.  Ming and I spoke of utopia.

And we sang like usual.  Then we bought some cheapo produce at Mariana's.  Then we came home and ate salad.  Later we'll go to UNLV to the first day of their new farmers market, and Ming and JR will go to the Atomic Testing Museum, ATM for short.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


There's a bunch of lotus root on our kitchen table and we're not sure how it got there, but we suspect it was a donation gone awry.

I had some coffee this morning at Jiffy Lube and can feel it.  I'm edgy and scattered.  I thought coffee was supposed to help people get things done?

At therapy today we talked about therapy stuff.  Setting boundaries, body image, stressors of late.  Too many stressors.  I need downtime.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


Today I went to the psychiatrist.  I hate that place--it makes me paranoid.  My usual doctor was out, so I saw someone different.  She was fine.  But I think about getting a better psychiatrist who I'd pay out of pocket.  Someone who would really know me and work with me.  It's a fantasy.  I think when it comes down to it, I would rather take the free, poor care.

Monday, September 07, 2015

vegan almond chicken

When I was a little kid, I did not like Chinese food.  Then when I was a teenager, I stated liking it.  I liked almond chicken.

Then last week we got some zucchini in a food donation.  So I decided to try to make some vegan almond chicken.  I couldn't find a recipe that was like the one I had as a kid.

But I marinated some tofu and made something like this.


The best thing about it was the crunchable almonds on top.  The worst thing about it was the way the tofu seemed kind of raw.  It had a good flavor but not a good texture.

I ended up using yellow squash instead of zucchini (the recipe I link to above doesn't even have zucchini in it).  I added mushrooms, which was a nice touch.  I didn't dredge the tofu--I didn't broil the tofu.  I just tried to saute it in earth balance--fail.  I left too much of the marinade in, and it didn't saute really.

Overall I give the dish I made a solid C.

today thus far in a list

1.  writing little notes to go with zines
2.  listening to Digable Planets from when I was young
3.  enduring ailments--back pain, stopped up ear
4.  drinking cold brew tea
5.  vegan almond chicken daydreams

Sunday, September 06, 2015

like a teenager

This morning we woke up early and drove out to the goddess temple.  We talked to our priestess friend C, who is a really good friend for me.  Then we sang and chanted in the temple.  Then we walked in the desert.  It was all very good for my soul.

New property-mates are here.  There was a misunderstanding about who was supposed to be here when.  I feel overwhelmed.

When we were in Sacramento, we copied all the Mother songs out of a Vedanta choir book, so today I'm doing the work of putting then in plastic sheet protectors, and then we'll need a binder.  The music goes out to the edges of the pages, which is why we need sheet protectors at all.

Then we can sing the Mother songs like crazy.

Our friend is sad.  I don't know if anything could console him.  He is young and has his deposition tomorrow, which I know he's anxious about.  He's frustrated with the world, wants to make a difference, doesn't know how.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

gift economy

Today we went to a farmers market on the rich side of town and got vegan Mexican food which was expensive and delicious.  I had a breakfast taco and a beer battered avocado taco.  Yum yum!

I got a beautiful purple and yellow bell pepper for a friend.  Now I have to remember to bring it to her tomorrow morning.


Friday, September 04, 2015

I feel more comfortable now

This morning we walked at the track after serving.  There were a ton of volunteers and way fewer hungry people than usual.  We didn't help with dishes because Ming and JR had to get to the Earthship to work.

It's cooling off at night, getting down into the 70s at night, but still hitting 100 in the days.  Do you care about the weather?  It affects me a lot, but I don't know how interesting it is to read about.

I was really enjoying this book Twelve by Twelve--then it got annoying.  But I just broke through to another section of the book, so maybe it will shift and be good again.

Transcription awaits!  But I don't want to stop listening to music.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

return to Veggie House

This morning I didn't want to get out of bed.  Ming left at 6 to serve, and I dozed until 7.

At 9 we went to peace vigil.  It was good but we left before the prayer.  I was ready to pray.  I sang to myself a lot during the vigil, or to God, if God is interested.

Then we went to the FedEx store so I could print out the cover my bestie made for my new zine.  I'm stoked.  It printed perfectly.

Oh, I never told you I bought a typewriter yesterday, a $20 Smith Corona off someone on craigslist.  It has problems.  The return key gets stuck.  I don't know what to do with it.

This morning Ming read the manuscript of the new zine and it made him cry.  But he couldn't tell me why he was crying.

I'm hungry for lunch but we're picking up JR at 1 and going to Veggie House.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

orange rice is delicious

I served it with spinach sauteed in olive oil.  It's delicious!

orange rice

I was reading this book about cooking for crowds at my friend J's house.  I took some notes because I knew I would start cooking for Food Not Bombs.  There was a recipe for orange rice.  This was an old book, old fashioned cooking, in some ways.  But I thought orange rice sounded good.

So I'm making some just for us right now, with enough for leftovers, and here's what's on the stove right now.  I will dig in soon.  I'm afraid I didn't cut the zest small enough.  I ran out of patience.

half a red bell pepper chopped fine
olive oil
two cups rice
the zest of one orange
three cups water
one cup orange juice

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

typing for the win

Well, it worked.  I typed at the library for two hours on an electric typewriter much like the one I used as a young person before computers were everyday.

It was nice.  I was in a little room not much larger than a closet.  The typing was loud.

Then we came home and napped.  Then I made blueberry peach smoothies.